Do not confuse print management with print brokering

NotPrintBrokering.jpgConsidering that companies allocate an estimated three to five per cent of their total expenditure on printed materials, it is logical that print management solutions are implemented to streamline print procurement. However, there is still some misunderstanding as to what print management is, resulting in many companies not utilising it and hence not benefitting from this valuable procurement service, Christian Bell, head of Sales and Marketing at Point, tells SmartProcurement.

“Sometimes it’s easier to explain what print management isn’t!” says Bell.

It is not print brokering – or the process of simply trying to secure better pricing on a job-to-job basis. Print management is a supplier-centric model offering a holistic print solution and the outsourcing of the printing process. It involves systems implementation throughout the client business, in fact, throughout the entire print supply chain. This ultimately ensures procurement of print at the best rates, quality control from paper to colour to Corporate Image considerations and also inventory storage of printed documents and materials.

“The use of a print management service consistently results in an average saving or net benefit of around 20% on our clients’ total print spend. This is achieved through a combination of a powerful electronic buying platform, which enables every job to be tendered out to suppliers who can most efficiently produce the job and the application of expert knowledge of the Point team.”

Print procurement presents the second largest area for corporates to be more cost effective, increase efficiency and improve shareholder value, according to the National Association of Purchasing Managers in the United States. With print procurement a growing sector in South Africa and in light of the recent economic recession, combined with a steady drive for companies to look for sustainable solutions, print management is demonstrating its effectiveness and is becoming a popular solution. Not only does it produce significant results when it comes to working within budget, but it also frees capital for companies to allocate to other areas of the business.

ChristianBell_May2013.jpgPricing in the print industry is governed by three forces: volume, capacity and influence, says Bell. Working with a good print management partner ensures companies leverage all three.

Point has also seen further benefits for the customer, such as improved supplier performance (colour management and on-time delivery at a very high quality). Management information regarding print spend, departmental analysis, environmental considerations, amongst many other areas, add substantially to an organisation’s ability to better understand and thus manage its procurement.

Improved customer service and an effective communication process between the print supplier and print owner improves the business-to-business relationship and the end result of the print job itself.

It is for these reasons that print management has evolved globally into a multi-billion dollar industry managing the entire print product supply chain from pre-press to distribution solutions. Print and marketing production offers valuable solutions to local and international corporates.

For more information on print management solutions contact Christian Bell at Point

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